Changing Roman Dogmas

How do Catholics reconcile these divergent statements:

  1. “It (Roman Church) firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that… be they pagans, Jews or heretics, no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Council of Florence, 1453


  1. article 1258 in the Catechism. “The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of Blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.”

To any thinking individual these are contrary beliefs yet each is immutable Truth? Please help me understand this.


Seems to me that this is the key phrase:

**"…unless he has remained **in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

Thus, someone who once embraced the Catholic Faith, but has apostasized by becoming a “pagan, Jew or heretic,” cannot be saved.

As the Catechism also says:

**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

:thumbsup: Fidelis…100% Spot on as they say!

In laymenn terms…

The Church does not change Dogmas

The Church can only teach what has been entrusted to her…namely that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus died for our sins, Jesus taught that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life…Repentance and baptism are the means by which a person is welcomed into the Chruch, the family of God, which Jesus founded, etc…

The Church cannot teach any other means of salvation…the Church must remain faithful to her commision, to the truths entrusted to her…

However, the Church has always recognized that God is the ultimate judge of each person’s salvation…only God decides who gets into heaven and who does not…The Church is an instrument of the Almightly…

and truthfully, some things are best left to God! I would not want you to judge my life, nor would I want to judge your life…:shrug: Only the Creator of Heaven and Earth - Father, Son and Holy Spirit- can fully know and comprehend what your life really means …the content of your heart and soul… Thankfully :gopray:

It is not a change in Dogma for the Church to say that salvation comes via the Church Jesus founded [this is the truth given the church to teach] and that it is possible for those outside the church to be saved [whether that is because they did not have the Gospel preached to them, baptism by desire, living a life pleasing to God, etc].

For me, I want to follow the instruction of Jesus and the Church He left to provide guidence and instruction. I follow the scriptures and the magesterium because Jesus is my Lord. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church…

And as Peter said, “Where else can we go, You [Jesus] have the Words of Eternal Life”

Also, it is important to note when “No salvation outside the Church” was first pronounced, no Protestants were in existence, only believers or non-believers in Jesus Christ.

Even today, if you find yourself in heaven you will be Catholic. You will ultimately be in heaven through the Catholic Church, the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church Jesus founded.

I must respectfully disagree with Fidelis, not because he is wrong per se, but because the quotes you cite create a false conflict, and one need not resort to the question of remaining faithful to resolve the apparent conflict.

The first quote says that you cannot be saved just because you shed blood for the name of Christ, that you have to also be in the Church. Read in context, coming as it does just after the reference to almsgiving, it is clear that this means you can not buy your way to salvation whether through alms or sacrifices, salvation comes through the Church. The Papal Bull this quote comes from is all about all the heresies and schisms that were declared separate from the Church. It is saying that these people are lost unless they come back to the Church, no matter how good they think they are. Note that it makes no mention of who or what’s blood is being shed.

The second quote says that those that **die for Christ **are automatically in the Church by virtue of that action. This is very different than the first quote. If the blood shed in the first quote is blood shed in dying for Christ, then that person is by definition in the Church and not without her “bosom and unity.” But there is no reason to read the first quote that way, in fact it would be inconsistent with the rest of the Bull. So no conflict.

Huh. I suppose some people might consider me not to be a “thinking” individual. After all, I’m just an attorney. Call me stupid but I don’t see any contradiction whatsoever. Are you under the impression that “shedding blood” in the first quotation is the same thing as the martyrdom described in the second? Can one not “shed blood for Christ” by suffering, rather than by dying?

By the way, what’s a “Roman dogma?” Oh, wait — are you referring to Catholic dogma?

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